10 Best UK Universities for Economics

19 Dec, 2023 | Blog Articles, Business Articles, Get the Edge

Are you interested in Business and Economics? It can be an extremely useful subject to pursue at degree level, providing skills that can open doors to a variety of careers and future opportunities!

Like any degree, it’s important to choose the right course at the right university so you can get the most out of your studies. That’s why we’ve put together the following guide, to help make this decision more straightforward.

Why Is Choosing the Right University Important for Economics Students?

Each degree programme across different universities will offer variations in their course content and teaching styles, so your chosen university can have a significant impact on the knowledge and skills with which you start your economics career. 

Before choosing a university, it’s a good idea to think about some of the key factors that are important to you in a degree.

How Do I Choose a University for Economics?

There’s a wide range of factors to consider when choosing a university for Economics. From faculty expertise and course offerings to the available opportunities outside of the course, there’s a lot to think about. 

Maybe you prefer a certain teaching style or assessment method, or maybe location is a priority for you. These are all key factors that can help you to assess your priorities and narrow down your options.

I. Faculty expertise

When choosing a university for Economics, evaluate the expertise of the Economics faculty at each university. The quality of teaching can have a big impact on your progress, and when faculty members are leading scholars in their field, this can significantly enhance your learning experience. 

Similarly, if you’re interested in a specific area of economics, look out for any research that the faculty have published in that field. If you have the opportunity to be taught by someone who shares your specific passion, this can be a great chance to ask detailed questions to someone who really knows what they’re talking about!

Do bear in mind that academics take leave to conduct research, and also move between universities for a variety of reasons, so don’t base your whole decision solely on faculty.

II. Course offerings

It’s also important to assess the variety and depth of the courses, including researching the course content and assessment methods. Some universities might offer certain modules that you’re really interested in, whereas others might not seem exciting to you at all. Make sure to check what the university offers before you make your final decisions! 

It can also be useful to check if the university offers specialisation options within Economics. At some universities, you’ll have to pick a specific area to specialise in – reflect on whether you’d welcome this or not before you pick a course. 

III. Internships and placement opportunities

Internships can be really useful for Economics students. They can play a massive role in practical skill development as well as networking, so they’re an important factor to consider when choosing a university. 

While exploring your options, make sure to look into career services at the university and the available support for securing internships and job placements. 

IV. Research centres and institutes

If you have a passion for academia or research-oriented careers, make sure to explore universities that have student access to research centres and institutes. 

It can also be useful to consider the focus areas of the research centres to find one that aligns best with your interests.

What are the Best Universities for Economics in the UK?

There are lots of different subjective factors that make a university “the best”, so we’ve compiled a list of our top ten UK universities for Economics and categorised them by key factors that you might prioritise.

Best for academic prestige

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford hosts a prestigious Economics department. Although undergraduates don’t have the option to study pure Economics, the university offers multiple courses that combine the study of Economics with other related subjects. 

One of the most popular courses is the Economics and Management degree. This course combines the study of Economics with the study of Management, focusing on organisational structures and how parts of these organisations relate to each other. This addition to an Economics degree equips students with a strong understanding of management and how to make effective decisions. 

The university’s Department of Economics is world-renowned because of its extensive resources and comprehensive curriculum. Economics students at the University of Oxford also have access to cutting-edge research through the Oxford Economics society!

Please note that the Oxford Scholastica Academy has no affiliation with the University of Oxford.

Christ Church College, University of Oxford

2. London School of Economics and Political Science

The London School of Economics and Political Science has many recognised Economics courses and has contributed massively to the field. 

There are lots of options within the university: you can study pure Economics, Econometrics, Mathematical Economics and Economic History – the list is long and varied! There’s also the opportunity to combine Economics with another subject like Philosophy or Mathematics in a joint honours degree. 

Located in the centre of London, the LSE has robust industry connections and is located close to major financial institutions, providing lots of opportunities for practical learning.

Best for theory and research

3. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge also has an excellent Economics programme. This department in particular is renowned for its historical contributions to the field. Deane and Cole’s work on British economic growth, and the work of the Cambridge Group, are some of the most significant contributions to post-war economic history!

The University places a strong emphasis on economic theory and policy research. Its collaborations with esteemed research centres, such as the Cambridge-INET Institute, make it one of the best universities in the country to study research-based Economics.

University of Cambridge

4. University of Bristol

The University of Bristol has a strong commitment to research. The University offers a variety of Economics courses, including both single and joint honours, and there are many opportunities for industry placements and research projects. 

In particular, the University of Bristol has a close association with the Economics Network, providing holistic academic support and making it a stand out option for many aspiring students.

Best for practical economics

5. University of Warwick

At the University of Warwick, the Economics department focuses heavily on the practical application of economics. 

The institution is committed to real-world problem-solving and aims to help its students to develop strong analytical skills. In particular, students have access to a variety of hands-on experiences through the Economics Research Laboratory. 

6. University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is also focused on fostering practical skills in the field. The Economics degree programmes prioritise experiential learning and the real-world application of economic concepts. 

Students also have the opportunity to gain innovative insights on how to become an entrepreneur through the university’s tight collaboration with the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research.

University of Manchester

7. University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews stands out for its personalised approach to the study and practical application of Economics. Small class sizes and close faculty-student interactions allows for each student to access personalised support throughout their studies. 

Economics students at the University of St Andrews also have access to the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance! If you’re interested in ethical economic studies, this university is certainly worth considering.

Best for interdisciplinary studies

8. Imperial College London

Imperial College London provides an interdisciplinary approach to Economics. There are multiple degrees to choose from that combine other areas of study with Economics, including finance, data science, mathematics, statistics and public policy. 

Imperial College London stands out for its smooth integration of technology and data analysis in economics studies. Moreover, the Economics department frequently collaborates with the Imperial College Business School to equip students with comprehensive business knowledge for their future careers.

Best for global economics

9. University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh has many connections to the global financial sector. The Edinburgh Futures Institute is one of six Data Driven Innovation (DDI) hubs connected with the university that collaborate with industry partners. Students also have access to the Academy of Government for policy-related studies. 

The department and faculty are made up of individuals from all over the world who actively engage with global economics issues, making it a unique place to study for an Economics degree.

University of Edinburgh

10. University of Glasgow

For an Economics degree with a global perspective, the University of Glasgow is another excellent institution to consider. The research-led teaching and connections to international markets offer students the opportunity to focus on economies outside of their home country, approaching Economics from multiple perspectives. 

In addition, the University of Glasgow fosters global economic perspectives by encouraging students to engage with the Glasgow Centre for International Development.

Most importantly, remember to evaluate universities based on your own personal priorities and preferences! By visiting different campuses, going on virtual tours, and interacting with current students and faculty members, you can work out which course is the best fit for you. 

Good luck in your applications!

jessica

By Jessica Mason

Jessica is currently studying a BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, and has a particular interest in Early Modern theatre. She enjoys writing articles and has lots of experience in student journalism.

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